Diversity, Scholarships, Accessibility & Wellness
We have been focusing to ensure that our attendance is as diverse as possible in all ways. We strive to be a conference where folks from all backgrounds meet to continue making technology great and accessible to everyone. We are committed to reaching out to under-represented populations and working to support them. As php[architect] and One for All Events are minority and women-owned respectively, this is extremely important to us.
Our efforts are working, for example, we increased our ratio of female attendees from 10% at our first conference of 2018, to 26% at our last one. But that’s still not where we want to be. In 2019, we’re stepping up our efforts to make sure our message of welcome and inclusion is reaching the people we want to serve and that we’re delivering that message through the experiences at our events. This includes at a minimum the following efforts this year:
Thanks to the support of our amazing sponsor Twilio, we are offering up (at least) 10 free tickets to people from underrepresented groups at conferences. We’ve partnered with diversitytickets.org to handle distributing these tickets is a fair and impartial manner. You’ll need to submit a short application through their system in order to be considered for these tickets. These are full confernece tickets (though they can be swapped for a training class ticket instead if desired).
We apply a strict code of conduct on our event to make sure we create a safe space for everyone. It includes clear language, clear consequences, and multiple reporting options in terms of method and to people of different genders.
All attendees will receive an email after buying their ticket asking if they have any food requirements. We work with our venue to ensure we can provide adequate nutrition options for every guest based upon any allergies (Gluten, Nuts, Shellfish), or other requirements (Vegan, Kosher, etc.).
Through our sponsorship with Twilio, they are organizing a relaxed breakfast on Thursday morning at 7:30am in the hotel restaurant for attendees who identify with an underrepresented group to get together, relax, and have breakfast together. Just head into the back of the restaurant and you’ll find the group that morning!
We also will be donating a portion of our proceeds to non-profit organizations that help support these groups. Also, we are happy to work with groups such as these to provide free or discounted sponsorship tables so that they can connect with the attendees and share their mission. If you are affiliated with one of these non-profit organizations, please contact us to see how we can work together!
We recognize how important it is to have our speaker lineup also reflect the audience that we want to serve. To that end, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on inviting speakers from a diverse background to bring their knowledge to our audience.
We also cover all costs for our speakers such as hotel and flight, including a small stipend to cover expenses that we might miss, to make sure that no-one is financially hurt in their efforts to provide excellent quality education for our attendees.
We always work to provide a quiet room for people to use for whatever purpose they need. Need to do a bit of work? Are you a speaker who wants to look over your slides? Do you just need a quiet place to sit for a while and relax while getting away from the crowd? Regardless of the reason, we always make sure a room is available for that purpose.
The venue that we’ve chosen is very accessible and all the conference takes place on the ground floor in a central area. We have ensured that gender-neutral bathrooms are available at the venue as well.
Below we have some details about the space at the Sheraton, and we have a map (provided) by them attached below as well. This map is not 100% dimensionally accurate but is close. If you have any additional questions about the accessibility of the venue, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer questions and find accommodations for you.
A few details: